With asparagus season upon us, my husband asked if I'd make an asparagus soup as he recalls fondly the cream of asparagus soup from his youth. Creamy fresh asparagus soup, is there anything better? Well my answer would be asparagus soup without the cream. Heresy you say? Well wait until you taste this luxurious, velvety, fresh asparagus soup with lemon and parmesan. Uniquely delicious, sublimely satisfying and one of the easiest soups to make. I couldn't wait to share this recipe with you so you could try it before the local asparagus season is over. I found it on a site I'd never visited before called Once Upon a Chef by Jenn Segal, but I assure you I shall return.
Asparagus Soup with Lemon and Parmesan
2 bunches asparagus (about 2¼ pounds)
3 tablspoons unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
6 cups low sodium chicken broth (I used homemade)
1 teaspoon salt (more to taste)
¼ freshly ground pepper (more to taste)
2 tablespoons freshly sqeezed lemon juice, from one lemon
¼ cup grated Parmiginoo-Reggiano
Handful fresh herbs, such as thyme, dill or basil (optional, for garnish)
- Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, cut the tips off of the asparagus spears and set aside. Cut the remaining spears into ½-inch pieces.
- Add the chopped asparagus (except for the tips) to the pot, along with the chicken broth, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are very tender.
- Meanwhile, bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the reserved asparagus tips for a few minutes until tender-crisp. Drain and refresh under cold water or in an ice bath. Set aside.
- Purée the soup in a blender in batches and pass through a fine sieve to remove fibers (the best way is to place a sieve over a large bowl, then use a ladle to push the soup through in circular motions) before returning it to the pot. Once all the soup is returned to the pot, bring it back to a simmer. Stir in the lemon juice and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and more lemon juice if desired. (You may need up to a teaspoon more salt.)
- Ladle the soup into bowls, then top each bowl with asparagus tips, fresh chopped herbs, more grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and freshly ground black pepper, if desired.